Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Now let us take a look at some more of the Epic of Gilgamesch



Column I.

(The Cause of the Flood).

2Gilgamish unto him spake, to Uta-Napishtim the Distant:
"Uta-Napishtim, upon thee I gaze, (yet) in no wise thy presence
Strange is, (for) thou art like me, and in no wise different art thou;
5.Thou art like me; (yea) a stomach for fighting doth make thee consummate,
[Aye, and to rest (?)] on thy back thou dost lie. [O tell me (?)], how couldst thou
Stand in th’ Assemblage of Gods to petition for life (everlasting)?"

p. 50

Uta-Napishtim (addressing him thus) unto Gilgamish answer'd:
"Gilgamish, I unto thee will discover the (whole) hidden story,
10.Aye, and the rede of the Gods will I tell thee.
The City Shurippak 1
(O ’tis) a city thou knowest!—is set [on the marge] of Euphrates,
Old is this city, with gods in its midst. (Now), the great gods a deluge
Purposed to bring: . . . . . . there was Anu, their sire; their adviser
Warrior Enlil; Ninurta 2, their herald; their leader(?) Ennugi;
Nin-igi-azag—’tis Ea—, (albeit) conspirator with them,
20.Unto a reed-hut their counsel betray’d he: "O Reed-hut, O Reed-hut!
Wall, wall! Hearken, O Reed-hut, consider, O Wall! O thou Mortal,
Thou of Shurippak, thou scion of Ubara-Tutu, a dwelling
25.Pull down, (and) fashion a vessel (therewith); abandon possessions,
Life do thou seek, (and) thy hoard disregard, and save life; every creature
Make to embark in the vessel. The vessel, which thou art to fashion,
30.Apt be its measure; its beam and its length be in due correspondence,
(Then) [on] the deep do thou launch it." And I—sooth, I apprehending,
(This wise) to Ea, my lord, did I speak: '[See], Lord, what thou sayest
35.Thus, do I honour, I'll do—(but) to city, to people, and elders
Am I, forsooth, to explain?' (Then) Ea made answer in speaking,
Saying to me—me, his henchman!—'Thou mortal, shalt speak to them this wise:
"’Tis me alone (?) whom Enlil so hateth that I in your city
40.No (more) may dwell, nor turn my face unto the land which is Enlil's.
[I will go] down to the Deep, (there) dwelling with Ea, my [liege] lord,
(Wherefore) [on] you will he shower down plenty, yea, fowl [in great number(?)],
45.Booty of fish . . . . [and big] the harvest.
. . . . . . . . causing a plentiful rainfall (?) to come down upon you."' 3


[(Then) when something] of morning had dawn’d . . . .

(Five lines mutilated).

55.Pitch did the children 4 provide, (while) the strong brought [all] that was needful.
(Then) on the fifth day (after) I laid out the 5 shape (of my vessel),
Ten gar each was the height of her sides, in accord with her planning(?),
Ten gar to match was the size of her deck (?), and the shape of the forepart (?)

p. 51

60.Did I lay down, (and) the same did I fashion; (aye), six times cross-pinn’d her,
Sevenfold did I divide her . . . ., divided her inwards
Ninefold: hammer’d the caulking within her, (and) found me a quant-pole,
65.(All) that was needful I added; the hull with six 1 shar of bitumen
Smear’d I, (and) three shar of pitch [did I smear] on the inside; some people,
Bearing a vessel of grease, three shar of it brought (me); (and) one shar
(Out of this) grease did I leave, which the tackling (?) consumed; (and) the boatman
70.Two shar of grease stow’d away; (yea), beeves for the . . . I slaughter’d,
Each day lambs did I slay: mead, beer, oil, wine, too, the workmen
[Drank] as though they were water 2, and made a great feast like the New Year,

(Five mutilated lines "I added salve for the hand(s)," "the vessel was finish’d . . . Shamash the great." "was difficult," " . . ? I caused to bring above and below," "two-thirds of it"):


80.[All I possess’d I] laded aboard her; the silver I laded
All I possess'd; gold, all I possess’d I laded aboard her,
All I possess’d of the seed of all living [I laded aboard] her.
Into the ship I embark’d all my kindred and family (with me),
85.Cattle (and) beasts of the field (and) all handicraftsmen embarking.
(Then) decreed Shamash the hour: " . . . . (?)
Shall in the night let a plentiful rainfall(?) pour down . . . . 2
(Then) do thou enter the vessel, and (straightway) shut down thy hatchway."
90. 3Came (then) that hour (appointed), . . . . . . (?)
Did in the night let a plentiful rainfall(?) pour down . . . . (?)
View’d I the aspect of day: to look on the day bore a horror,
(Wherefore) I enter’d the vessel, and (straightway) shut down my hatchway,
(So, too) to shut down the vessel to Puzur-Amurri (?), the boatman,
95.Did I deliver the poop (of the ship), besides its equipment.


(Then), when something of dawn had appear’d, from out the horizon
Rose a cloud darkling; (lo), Adad (the storm-god) was rumbling within it,
100.Nabu and Sharru were leading the vanguard, and coming as heralds
Over the hills and the levels: (then) Irragal wrench’d out the bollards;
Havoc Ninurta let loose as he came, th’ Anunnaki their torches
105.Brandish’d, and shrivell’d the land with their flames; desolation from Adad
Stretch’d to (high) Heaven, (and) all that was bright was turn’d into darkness.

Here we have a story not of a Worldwide flood but a flood as far as the narrator can tell is more of a local event focused along the banks of the Euphrates.Unlike the biblical account the Ark builder's concerns are his personal possessions.

Which is the most credible, the biblical flood based on this as an unintentional embelleshment, or are they two different floods.

1 comment:

T&A said...

I watched a program on the boob tube about this. Have you ever watched Zeitgeist The Movie? It goes into the origins of the Jeebus story pretty well.